The child who was held hostage in Alabama celebrated his sixth birthday at home on Wednesday, recuperating from his almost weeklong ordeal as a hostage.
Ethan, who was freed from an underground bunker on Monday, was described by family and officials as physically unharmed.
For almost a week, he was held captive in a 6-foot-by-8-foot shelter, playing with toys that officials sent in through a 4-inch PVC pipe. His neighbors were still working out how to celebrate his birthday and some were raising money to send the child to Disney World.
But the emotional release was obvious to all.
“I can't describe how incredible it is to hold him again,” said his mother in a prepared statement released on Tuesday after she was reunited with her son. “Ethan is safe and back in my arms -- and I owe it all to some of the most compassionate people on Earth.”
Midland City held a vigil at Napier Field Town Hall on Tuesday night, which turned into a celebration. There, children signed an oversized card. “Happy 6th Birthday Ethan,” it said.